In the story And It Begins Like This written by Latanya McQueen, the author uses many interesting rhetorical strategies to affect the reader’s experience when reading the book. McQueen effectively convinces the audience that water has had a special place in her heart, in a negative and positive way, through stories that she tells the reader.
In the chapter “After Water Comes the Fire” (McQueen), McQueen ties in the idea of water into many different parts of this essay.
In every story she tells, she mentions how water affected her life, or how it affected her ancestors as a group.
A good example of this is when she recalls the story of her mother leaving the choice of baptism in McQueen’s hands, Or when her father said he was thirsty, McQueen offered bottled water from the store’s refrigerator, her father then laughed and went to the water fountain. He then told her that free is always better and this stuck with McQueen for the rest of her life.
In rhetorical terms throughout this essay, we see both, ethos and pathos. McQueen uses ethos a lot in her writing, this being said because of the stories that she tells. She has credibility because she is a black woman and she has relatives alive to pass on the stories of slavery and segregation times. This is also ethos because McQueen shows that you understand both her argument and the opposing side. McQueen also shows a great use of pathos.
She shows this by creating a visual for her emotions throughout her stories.
For example, in the bathroom, McQueen visualizes to the reader how nervous she is to meet this new guy by putting on the makeup and wiping it off out of embarrassment in the mirror after another woman walks into the bar bathroom. When this is read, we put ourselves in her shoes and deciding what we would do in that situation. This goes to show how effective her usage of pathos is.
How effective really is the usage of rhetorical strategies? I think that the use of rhetorical strategies is what makes a story enjoyable to read. It makes you think about what you would do in that situation and it makes you feel exactly what the author is feeling emotional. Without the use of rhetorical strategies this story would be very bland and would make the reader lose interest fast.